Trophy Clothing, A Winning Formula.
Aug 3, 2013

This week we speak to Trophy Clothing founder, Masaki Egawa. An exuberant man who follows his passions unhindered, we felt he would make for a very interesting read.

Trophy Clothing has seen massive success in Japan. Their products are seen as coveted items, often featured in local magazines such as Lightning. A benchmark of quality matched with workwear aesthetics, it isn’t surprising this brand of brands has become so popular.

Those of us not from Japan might not have heard of the Trophy Clothing label before. This isn’t surprising since they aren’t an export brand, well not until very recently that is. UK retailer NoKipple will be carrying their beautifully crafted products come fall this year.

SK = Saintkeat
ME = Masaki Egawa

 

SK: Which was your first pair of jeans? As a youth, did the denim scene in Japan affect your impression of denim?

ME: Just like a lot of people, the Levis 501. It was a pair that I consciously bought as a junior high school student.

 

SK: How did you come about starting Trophy Clothing?

ME: I always wanted to sell clothes as a living ever since I was in high school. It was then that I developed a profound love for preowned clothes.

After graduating high school, I went on to a dressing college and after that started working at an apparel maker.

When I was 25, while I had a different job I started a brand with my friend who came to be the predecessor of Trophy, and at the age of 27 I started the Trophy Clothing store on my own.

 

SK: I’ve noticed your fascination with Motorcycles. I’ve always wanted a Harley Custom Bobber myself. Do you feel that your passion for motorcycles is reflected in your clothing line?

ME: Motorcycles are my hobby and a part of my life. They have provided me with many precious encounters throughout my life.

People who are particular about motorcycles also seem to be particular about the details and size of the clothes they wear, myself included. Actually, I frequently seek advice from customers that are motorcycle riders.

Take the Vintage Harley or the Indian. What makes them so popular is their functional beauty. This is something in common with military wear and work wear.

 

SK: What, in your opinion, makes Trophy Clothing different from other labels?

ME: Traditional sewing and a good old fashioned style coexisting with a modern silhouette is the distinguishing feature of our products. I am particularly careful about the material we use, often hunting around many of Japan’s cloth producing districts.

 

SK: How demanding are you when it comes to quality control and how does it affect the quantity produced?

ME: Most of our denims are steadily produced compared to a few years ago, despite the carefully specified pattern papers and washing.

However, the DIRT DENIM fabric is produced in an inefficient way, which makes it difficult to speed up production.

 

SK: I’ve heard Trophy Clothing is doing very well in the Japan. Not an easy task considering how competitive the market is there. Now that Trophy Clothing is going international, do you perceive a difference in demand between the Western and Asian market?

ME: I think the size is the most important factor. The same pattern papers will do for countries in Asia, but when it comes to selling our products in Europe and America the average size is quite different to the people in Japan so we must use different pattern papers.

 

SK: In a world where fabrics are standard in many cases, hardware sets clothes apart. Could you tell us some of the interesting hardware, buttons, zippers and fastenings that can be found on Trophy Clothing products?

ME: We mainly use buttons that a Japanese maker produces. We use vintage reproduction zippers such as TALON, WALDES, HOOKLESS. I have learned the essence of carefully choosing small details through my experience of customizing bikes.

 

SK: What are your other interests, apart from clothing and motorcycles?

ME: I love music. I started playing the guitar when I was a high school student, and I currently play the bass guitar. I like music such as Rock, Blues, Funk, Jazz.

 

SK: What will the future be for Trophy Clothing? How big do you want the brand to be?

ME: I would like to spread the “MADE IN JAPAN” benchmark throughout the world, and I would like my brand to be one of the brands that best represents Japan. However, dropping the quality of our products and design must be avoided so my wish is not to grow rapidly, but slowly and steadily.

 

Look out for all of Trophy Clothing’s offerings available soon at NoKipple, shipping to you worldwide.

- Saintkeat

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